Yucatan. What am I looking for in a flats boot?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Dave Hartman, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. Dave Hartman

    Dave Hartman Strip'n Flywear

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    I've got a week long trip to the Yucatan coming in April, fishing mostly in the Tulum/Boca Paila/and hopefully further south. The beachhouse I have rented is in Tankah Bay just south of Soliman Bay. It looks like there's coral right off the beach. Other than this area, it looks like everything in Boca Paila and the Sian Kaan reserve is sand.

    I've got Chacos, I've got water shoes, and I've got boots I could bring.
    Has anyone been here and fished these areas who could tell me: do I really need flats boots? If I can save a dime, that'd be nice. But I'm almost more concerned about luggage space.
    Thanks!
    Dave
     
  2. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    There are places where I've gone barefoot, but, and it's a big butt Simone, it can change fast and you can get cut in a heartbeat. Personally someplace like that, there really isn't an issue with zipper boots, but in places where I'm also fishing a beach with wave action, I've had zippers become permanently jammed. So I like lace ups generally. They didn't exist when I last flats fished, but something like some waterproof Keens could fill the bill pretty well if you know you're mostly fishing compact sand bottoms. Won't protect you from rays at all, but ankle high boots don't do much better. When I was in school I took the worlds cheapest florida trip. Flew without luggage except gear. First day in hit Saint Vinnies, and scored all my clothes. I used Chuck Taylors for the flats.

    Maybe cheap dive booties? Cheap knockoff Muck shoes at a tack store? I'd definitely hit the various outlets like Sierra Trading, red truck, Madison River, etc. for the real deal before trying to macguiver it.
     
  3. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    I went barefoot wading in the caymans and stepped on a fireworm! most painful sting Ive ever had, and got blood poisoning from it, not to mention the biggest, nastiest welt Ive ever seen. I would look for thick soles, and some side protection.
     
  4. rick matney

    rick matney Active Member

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    Neopreme dive boots are a cheap alternative to flats boots. This is what I would suggest. That's all I wear down there. If you do get flatts boots get some poly socks for them. There are all kinds of stuff that tears your feet up down there. Just curious, but is the place you rented bright yellow?
     
  5. Dave Hartman

    Dave Hartman Strip'n Flywear

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    No, it's white, small pool in front between the house and beach. Maybe a 100 yards north of where the cenote come into the ocean. Do you know Tankah Bay?
    I'll look into the dive booties. Those, plus the Chacos (which I'm already bringing), should get me through.

    Stilly, I'm gonna have to look into this fireworm. That shit sounds nasty!
     
  6. powderglut

    powderglut My Kind Of Wave

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    I've fished off the beach and a lot of the inside flats by the Boca Paila bridge and south. I use a cheapo pair of flats boots from Bass Pro Shop and add an insole to firm the sole up. I'm not that fond of open water shoes, because of the sand or some other irritant rubbing against my feet. You could use a felt sole wading shoe with a neoprene sock. That would be very comfy on hard stuff and would keep out the sand. If your water shoes are a solid bottom and snug around the ankles they may be fine too.
    I've found that fishing the big flats by the BP bridge have some pretty skittish bones that have been worked over a fair bit. The water is so skinny that you can see them from quite aways away. If you cast to close you'll send them off and running. See the direction they're heading and get your cast in way before you can spook them. Let it sit until they get close and then short strips and stop, short strips and stop. When you see a tilted up tail it usually means a fish is on your fly.
    I love crazy charlies in tan, yellow and light pink, and small crab patterns on ocean side and deeper inside flats, but make sure you have some tan and pinks on the super skinny water that have no weight. You want a fly that lands soft and wont hang on the bottom. These flies should all be tied hook up. Don't forget to bring a deceiver or bendback baitfish pattern for jack crevalle on the beach. they're a blast too.
    I'm way jealous!! I use to go to Akumal in the spring. I also did a 2 week camping trip on a cay in Ascension Bay with a borrowed flats boat before anyone started guiding there. I'm sure you'll do well. You'll find fish on the beach all the way south to Punta Allen.
    Good Luck!!
     
  7. rick matney

    rick matney Active Member

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    yes I am, I have spent a fair amount of time down there. Sandals are a very bad idea. I wouldn't even bring them. Little chunks of coral and roots and shells all will cut and grind the hell out of your foot. With the dive boots you have to take them off and clean them out a few times a day. Likewise you have to do the same with flats boots and socks. Dive boots have one less step to cleaning...no socks. I think you will find that your chacos are pretty much useless for most situations. Just a thought.
     
  8. Dave Hartman

    Dave Hartman Strip'n Flywear

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    Thanks guys. Dive boots look like they can pack down nicely in a suitcase, or maybe I can just purchase them there in Tulum. I found some discounted Simms Sneakers on redtruck.com that might be an option, (and I can probably throw 'em in the wife's suitcase to save space in mine).

    Powderglut, that sounds like a hell of a trip you took back in the day. This trip is half recon for future trips; my goal is to soon get away from it all like you did. I was planning on fishing the bridge flats, but ideally, I'll be able to slip a kayak into the lagoon and go fish those feeder channels on the western side of Boca Paila.

    Anyways, thanks again guys.
     
  9. powderglut

    powderglut My Kind Of Wave

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    Dave the 1st time I went down I did use my wading boots with a neoprene sock. Fortunately I had a socks made by Simms that had a gaitor style, which keeps all the sand and scratchies from entering the boot and are snug on your calf. I think that was still the best setup but probably the bulkiest for packing. If you get wading in the mucky stuff it won't matter what you're wearing you will eventually have to take them off and clean up.
    The kayak should be great to access stuff you'd never be able to walk to. But you still may want to wade while you fish. Much higher perspective than sitting low in a kayak. If you get lucky and have a still day, I'd fish the ocean side, too often it's blowing and wavy. But if it's not.....
    Sure sounds way better than this minus degree weather we're getting. Should be awesome! Goodluck!
     
  10. mr. bad example

    mr. bad example Member

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    like they said, buy some quality hard bottomed dive booties and take some fins, mask snorkel etc. the snorkeling right off the beach can be awesome.
     

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